Social Media World Forum – The Round Up

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Social Media World Forum – The Round Up


Last Tuesday, thousands of people descended on Kensington Olympia for Social Media World Forum – a gathering of some of the top thinkers, personalities and executives in social media today.
Over this two day conference, attendees were treated to a host of workshops, talks, networking sessions, cupcakes, massages and racing game time trials. Synthesio was at the Social Media World Forum in full force this year as a Gold Sponsor, with an exhibition stand and two speaking slots in which we traded knowledge with other great speakers around the issues of social CRM, the voice of the customer and PR in social media. And whilst we didn’t indulge in any massages or eat any cupcakes, our own Barry Furby finished top of the Buddy Media Rally Time Trial game leaderboard by a formidable 8 seconds. Take that, Olympia. Here’s what else we took from the event.

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Our favourite insights
“Everyone is in sales”Chris Brogan – everyone in your organisation is responsible for the company’s reputation, and for bringing in leads; it’s not just up to the Sales, Marketing or PR guys alone.“Brands have always been in the hands of consumers – you can either listen and participate in the conversation, or let the masses dictate the reputation of your brand”Debbie Weinstein, Director of Global Media Innovation, Unilever – social media belongs to the consumers, and if you don’t get involved, you’re ignoring the power of word of mouth. This means both listening to them, and engaging with them.

“Allow people to be involved with something bigger than themselves – make a difference by simultaneously giving them a voice and speaking their language”Scott Monty, Global Digital Communications Manager, Ford – on how to effectively create advocates from consumers.

“Key steps in social media monitoring: Have a long term goal, agree on work streams, and be clear on what success will look like”Vaqar Khamisani, Customer and Partner Experience Manager, Microsoft UK – social media monitoring is important, but you need a strategy to know what you’re looking for, and what you want out of it.

“The basis of a good community is great content, presented in the right way”Kurt Lane, Head of Digital, Domino Records – as long as you have interesting/exciting/relevant content for your community, they will continue to share it and as a result, grow organically.

In support of the forthcoming release of the new version of our engagement platform Unity – many of you saw the beta preview in action on our stand – we conducted a tweet chat featuring questions around the themes raised at Social Media World Forum. The potential prize for participants? A bottle of champagne! We had a few great responses and have since awarded bottles of champagne to the winners. We also awarded champagne to speakers with most liked/inspiring quotes. Here they are:

Luke Knight @luke_4ps – on the most important metric to measure when trying to understand your online audience:
“Demographics! Without knowing demographics or interests you can’t tailor content”

Sasha Taylor @Sasha_Taylor – on who should be responsible for managing a company’s online reputation:
“Managing reputation should be corporate comms – but all staff have responsibility for company’s reputation IMO”

Vikki Chowney @vikkichowney, Guy Stephens @guy1067, Amanda Webb @spiderworking – on best insights around social for business:
@vikkichowney “My 20 key points about social media measurement and metrics
@guy1067 “Being customer centric is not about technology but about cultural shift in the business”
@spiderworking “Top tips from Chris Brogan at #SMWF:

Craig McGill @craigmcgill – on the most compelling speaker at #SMWF:
“@dcoplin for making @binguk & SEO/search human and interesting!”

Al Tepper @altepper, Head of Digital & Marketing, EMP plc – “The computer can’t tell you the emotional story. It can give you the exact mathematical design, but what’s missing is the eyebrows” (a Frank Zappa quote) and “Imagine your brand is the host of a party” (initiate the discussion and contribute, but don’t shout too loud, or just sit back)

Lars Silberbauer @larssilberbauer, Social Media Director, Lego – “Sort the insights from the noise by focusing on what you can act on”

Henry Juszkiewicz @henryej, Chairman and CEO, Gibson Guitars – “Delight your fans and turn them into superfans by continuously engaging and stimulating their senses”

Our UK MD Catriona Oldershaw spoke in two sessions during Social Media World Forum; our favourite quote from her first talk?
“If you want to understand the tiger, don’t go to the zoo, go to the jungle”

Other assorted thoughts
-> Always come prepared with sweets to give away – and make sure they’re wrapped; Maltesers disappear suspiciously quickly.
-> Bottles of champagne on your table may be an eye-catcher, but they’re not the easiest things to hoard at a two day event.
-> We should definitely invest in Fatboy bean bags for the office.
-> If in doubt, think “What would Bowie do?”*

*courtesy of Kurt Lane, Domino Records

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